I mean, against one of the two best defenses in the league, where do you get off scoring (a team-high) 35 points on 17 FGAs, with (a team-high) seven rebounds, (a team-high) seven assists, (a team-high) four steals, and a block? (Sure, the FGAs and turnovers [three] were team highs too. Whatever.)
All I'm saying is that Kevin Martin was basically in-freaking-credible, and this is the type of game we should point to whenever someone on TV or in a magazine or on a blog or in a typo-ridden FanPost tells us Kevin Martin is not good enough to be a major player on a great team. Martin drilled every single Cavalier who tried to guard him. He could have scored 50, but any time one of his bigs had a mismatch Kevin found them. He hit Jason Thompson, Brad Miller and Spencer Hawes. He hit his guardly friends, too. He didn't get called for traveling once. He hit the defensive glass, he played the lanes ... he played active defense (although Sasha Pavlovic blew by him a few times).
And he did it all on 1.5 legs. That ankle still isn't right; you can tell every so often in transition. He won't make that excuse -- he's refused to shed some blame onto the bone bruise. But Sam Amick has noted a few times in detail that it continues to be a problem. And again, you see it every once in a while.
So yeah, ta' hell with Kevin Martin. Who needs that guy?
More thoughts ...
* Thompson had a masterpiece, if you ignore the two defensive three-seconds calls and only two defensive rebounds in 26 minutes. That latter note is a bit too much to ignore ... so yeah, not quite a masterpiece. But his defense (save one blown cover of Anderson Varejao) was remarkable at times. Ditto Spencer Hawes, who actually had a completely flawless game, so long as you ignore the three rebounds in 19 minutes. Hawes rotated better than he ever has, and played his tail off in the lane as well.
But the thing that gets Shock the gold star: he anchored the zone. That was rookie Jason Thompson yelling from the pivot, calling out the defensive scheme and calling out picks and waving his arms and pushing the hell out of his mark. If Mo Williams had played only average, this would have been a good defensive effort, which for the Kings would have made it a stunning defensive performance. But Mo Williams didn't exactly play average (none of those 43 points were cheap).
* The ball movement, man. That ball movement was ridiculously good. The Kings shot .500, but they missed a bunch of wide open looks. The team probably had open looks 70% of their possessions ... against a great defense. Very encouraging. I don't know if that's the Pete Carril magic slipping in; whatever it is: bottle it, clone it, drink it every day. Most points scored against the Cavs all season.
* It's amazing how John Salmons got hit with a technical for yelping one or two words after an iffy call, while LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, Ben Wallace and Tarence Freaking Kinsey can berate officials with no penalty. Simply amazing.
* Did anyone find it odd that down seven with 30 seconds left the Kings didn't foul to try to fluke out the game? Williams is a terrific FT shooter, and LeBron went 13-15 this game. But it's worth a shot, right? You wonder if it has something to do with a personal courtesy between Natt and his old boss/friend Mike Brown. There was very little chance the Kings could have caught up, but you almost always see a team foul there.
* Hello KINGSDOTCOM: please compile a video of all those Salmons baskets over LeBron in the fourth quarter, set it to something real nice (The Reverend? Marvin? Megadeth?), put it on YouTube and send the link to every GM in the league. If you need help getting the e-mail address list, try Kevin Pricthard ... err, I mean "Larry Miller."